Giving Circle volunteers exemplify generosity, compassion in busy weekend

If compassion, generosity and volunteerism are hallmarks of The Giving Circle, we proved it this past weekend.

The Local Projects Committee, led by Ron Deutsch and Mike Gyamathy, among others, pulled off another one of their holiday miracles. A team identified a senior citizen in need — a woman whose home was, literally, collapsing around her. Over the span of about nine hours, The Giving Circle’s volunteer team removed and repaired rotten flooring; laid down a new floor; replaced a hot water heater and fixed a number of leaking pipes. The work literally saved this woman’s house!

Our amazing crew of volunteers pulled off this Holiday Miracle in just one day.
Special thanks to Mike Gyarmathy (and his sons Mike and Joe); Chris Bennet; Gene Vetter; Dan Matrazzo; Chris Daley; Abby and Jose Gonzalez; Andrea and Ernie Mann; Ken Tymula, and Mary and Mike Los, for bringing a delicious hot lunch.

Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, some three dozen Giving Circle volunteers brought the holiday spirit to local seniors, who have been somewhat isolated by the pandemic. In two teams, The Giving Circle serenaded local seniors with Christmas carols and holiday songs, bringing smiles to their faces and a little spring to their step. Thanks to Donna Olsen for organizing this wonderful holiday outing, which lifted everyone’s spirits.

These two events are a microcosm of what The Giving Circle does day in and day out — exemplifying the principles of generosity, compassion, thoughtfulness and volunteer activism in order to make our little place in the world a little brighter. You can continue to support our ongoing work here in Saratoga County and in rural Uganda with your contribution. Click on

The Giving Circle’s generosity helps to address food insecurity in Uganda

With Covid-19 restrictions closing schools and increasing unemployment among already impoverished residents of Kagoma Gate, Wairaka and Mutai, founder Mark Bertrand launched an effort to provide relief — and Giving Circle supporters jumped into action.

The Giving Circle board approved emergency funds and several benefactors made large donations. This enabled our TGC-Africa team to purchase two truckloads of cornmeal, rice and other food staples for the villages. This helped stave off hunger while reducing economic pressures on “our” families. Our friends in Uganda who led the effort reported villages broke out in singing and dancing in celebration and thanks when the trucks pulled up and began distributing the 5-kilo bags of food staples. 

The Giving Circle Africa team is continuing to monitor pandemic conditions in our Uganda villages.  Additional food aid may be needed if travel does not re-open soon.  You can contribute here.

Building Projects in Uganda Take Shape

As lockdown restrictions in Uganda ease, work has resumed at several Giving Circle projects that will improve education and healthcare in the villages we serve.

At Mutai, an impoverished village, not far from Kagoma Gate, work has resumed at a new medical clinic made possible by the generosity of the Mitzen family and the good folks at Fingerpaint. In addition, Walubi Emma’s crew has completed a new latrine that will improve sanitation and, hopefully, end illnesses such as diarrhea. Meanwhile, work is ongoing on a new bore holes that will help ensure clean drinking water for the people of Mutai. The new wells are being funded by the incredible generosity of the Bobear Family Foundation.

Perhaps most exciting at Mutai — at least for the children — will be construction of a new playground, the first many of these children have ever seen.

Meanwhile, at Kagoma Gate, Emma and his crew are also finishing work on a safety wall around the Busoga School and Koi Koi House orphanage; and on expanding the school buildings to make them larger and handicap accessible.

This progress is made possible by all of you who have used your own personal funds to help create better lives for our friends in Uganda.

TGCA Uganda Teachers Conference Under Way

We have a team of teachers from the Capital District Region (Albany) lead by Ann Fantauzzi in a 2-day conference in Uganda.  Mark Bertrand will be joining them on the 2nd day as he heads out tomorrow. TGC has partnered with a team of Master Teachers from the Greater Capital Regional Teachers Center!


A very happy little girl!

Our last update the little girl who was sleeping on her mattress on a cold concrete floor –> who dreamed of a real bed of her own, a aloft bed.

We were contacted by an old, very kind friend working for Catholic Charities Albany telling us of a poor family she is helping who had moved into Saratoga County. Samantha Marie got together friends to paint the walls and install new flooring but still lacked the funds to make this little girls dream of this special bed come true.

The Giving Circle does what we do: we stepped in where we saw we could make a difference and make a dream come true. The bed is installed and all her new princess bedding in place.

The little princess stood atop of her dream bed and declared “I’m the queen of the world“!

ANY and ALL things we do, we do because of all of you who help support the work we do.

From building schools, clinics, wells, sanitation, farms and more than ½  way around the world to repairing, remodeling and fitting out homes here in in Saratoga county for poor families and families with disabled children to simply provide a bed and special bedding to bring a poor little girl happiness and hope to her and her family. The Giving Circle and all we do the lives we change for the better is because of your support!

Every child deserves a bed, everyone deserves hope and happiness, the knowledge people care about them.

She is now “The queen of the world”!

Thank you Samantha Marie for all your good work and contacting TGC.



Happy New Year!

The Giving Circle is wishing you a very happy & healthy new year!  We want to thank you for all your support in 2019 and look forward to a successful 2020 in helping us to support our missions:

The Giving Circle Mission: Selfless acts of kindness and compassion.

The Giving Circle Africa’s Mission: Pledged to shape better lives by building and teaching sustainable solutions in education, health, farming, and economic self-empowerment to end poverty and hopelessness.

A little girl is very happy!

Every Child deserves a bed to sleep in and not to sleep on the floor.

We were contacted by an old very kind friend working for Catholic Charities telling us of a poor family she is helping.
Their little girl is sleeping on the floor and has dreamed of having Loft bed.

As as soon as its delivered this coming week, there will be one more happy little girl whose dream of a loft bed of her own will be a reality . Our friend at Catholic Charities just let us know that she told the young girl of the gift coming, and, she “burst into tears, she is on absolute cloud 9!!”

This thanks to The Giving Circle and all of you who make what we do a reality.

More Joy….

This is what The Giving Circle is,an ever expanding circle of Compassion. When we are called out to someone, a family in need all our members step up and what is even more heart warming is people, non Giving Circle members who hear about the job to help some never even hearing of The Giving Circle.